Creating a class is a process. I had just finished looking over information I have been gathering for years, and brainstorming for my 2011 Flagstaff Yoga Festival workshop—Finding Your Voice, Speaking Your Truth, Claiming Your Power—when I opened up my email and found the latest newsletter from the Sivananda Yoga Ashram Farm in my inbox. It is completely in line with my conclusion tonight. Coincidence? Maybe. I’ll not analyze that question too much, and instead simply enjoy the synchronicity that this message offers.
I am not sure who wrote the piece below, but I think it may have come from a writing by Swami Vishnudevananda.
Are You Healthy?
Health is the law of nature. It is our birthright. In yoga, we consider 3 aspects of health: physical, mental and spiritual health. Physical health is when all the organs of the body function optimally under the intelligent guidance of the mind.
In order for the mind and body to be healthy, the prana (energy, life force) should flow properly i.e. flowing to all the organs in the body without blockages. We would have to clean the blockages in our energy channels due to our life style. Yoga asanas and pranayama help purifying the energy body and bring about vitality. Calming the mind and breath and not identify too much with the drama of life which generates emotions such as fear or anger, will conserve energy and elongate lifespan.
What is spiritual health? When we are able to have insight or knowledge within ourself about who we are in connection with the Divine then we become spiritually healthy. When we do not have connection with the Divine that is actually the Inner Ruler of all things, and when we don’t know our place in the Divine Plan, at that time, we are not spiritually healthy. It is like when the organs of the body or the cells of the body don’t know who is the master.
Spiritually we have to acknowledge our connection and our oneness with God, be really appreciative and experience our oneness with All. At that time we are not functioning like a separate unit that only drives its own purpose independent from the whole and become completely out of tune. The moment we understand that we are part of All and we are not letting our ego take over then at that time we are spiritually healthy. When our own personal idea and our ego take over and we don’t care about consequence, we don’t care about others, then we are spiritually unhealthy.
The goal of Yoga is to experience this divine connection and to live in harmony in connection.
Swami Vishnudevananda in an interview when he was 31 years-old.